Last year I introduced my husband and toddler to Hong Kong during a two-day stopover. While traversing a densely populated city with an energetic toddler was daunting, we traveled on foot and public transportation from playground to playground.
Playground: Hong Kong Park
We loaded my daughter, Mirielle, in her stroller and walked to the TsimShaTsui (TST) Star Ferry Pier, picking up pineapple buns before hopping on the historic ride across the harbor to Central. The excitement of joining boats scurrying across the harbor was topped entering the maze of pedestrian walkways, bridges, tunnels, hotels, shops and offices through the Central business district. Soon we were playing a game, working our way uphill without “touching” the street.
A few wrong turns eventually let us to the grounds of the former garrison, now Hong Kong Park. The park includes lakes, a museum of Tea Ware, a conservatory, an aviary and a multi-level playground. Mirielle fell asleep before reaching the playground, so we headed for the northwest corner of the park to the Peak Tram lower terminus. Hong Kong Park, 19, Cotton Tree Drive, Central. Peak Tram, 33 Garden Road, Central.
Playground: Mount Austin Playground and Peak Galleria
Since 1888, the Peak Tramway funicular has climbed 1,350 meters through residential towers to Victoria Peak. Built before strollers, we struggled to wedge ours in the tram without waking Mirielle. At the top, we were presented with a tower full of tourist enticements, so we quickly headed outside. Reaching the overlook, we were rewarded with a panoramic view, albeit foggy, of greater Hong Kong.
We lunched at Café Deco in the Peak Galleria, which provided a global menu, great views and a small children’s play area. After lunch, while looking for Mount Austin Road and our next playground, we found one right in the Galleria complex. Filled with children right out of school, Mirielle ran off to climb and explore. Café Deco, Level 1-2 Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak.
The playgrounds were great for Mirielle, but mom was ready for her own treat and we headed back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. Spring Deer Restaurant in TST is famous for Pekinese food including duck, but I was dreaming about the “Beijing Spaghetti.” These hand-pulled, thick, chewy wheat noodles in a sweet-tangy tomato sauce that had me fighting my daughter for the last bite. Spring Deer, 42 Mody Road, TsimShaTsui.
This was originally published in the Summer 2009 issue of HipCompass Escapes.